Alan Summers is a Japan Times award-winning writer of haiku.
Alan is published in American magazines and anthologies as well as Japanese newspapers; journals and magazines; and anthologies.
His tiny organisation With Words is U.K. based but international in flavour: www.withwords.org.uk
This is the problem when thinking we can write the same way as a Japanese haiku writer, we get confusion over this 575 number and what it means.
The Japanese use several language systems, none of them contain alphabets or syllables, and use pictographic and other sets of characters in their thousands, whilst in the West we just use one language system called the alphabet, and only 26 letters, against 4000 characters (not letters) in the Japaanese language systems.
Japanese haiku are often 17-on or 17-ji where on or ji are counting systems for the number of sound units in a text.
The English-language equivalent would around 12 English syllables.
If you want to know if a haiku is a haiku then it should have the three Ks: kire; kireji; and kigo.
It should have a strong cut, have a strong seasonal reference, not merely repeating the name of the month or season, and have two clear sections that don't repeat each other but create a juxtaposition or a disjunction.
I wish haiku was as easy as merely being 575 words or syllables. ;-)
What is haiku?
Oddly enough I did enter a big Japanese haiku contest with a 575 construct so it can be done with thought:
another hot day
a leaking water pipe stopped
by the jackdaw’s beak
Honourable Mention, 14th Mainichi Haiku Contest (2010)
I've really enjoyed the haiku here.
For a simple overview of modern haiku (both Japanese and Western haiku writers often break away from 575ers) check out: [link]
all my very best,
Alan, With Words [link]
What a lovely bonus to all those who have entered the competition! ;-)
For adults, if anyone would like to consider entering our competition, it's now open until midnight (all time zones) Sunday 21st November 2010: [link]
Alan Summers, With Words
I loved all the poems!
Best Haiku About the Undead
on Easter Sunday
my five year old child exclaimed
"Jesus! A zombie!"
Todd's is a full on proper haiku with a seasonal reference dude!
I love my iPhone
I can sit on the toilet
And let loose a tweet.
Joe's is a full on senryu which is like a haiku but doesn't have a season mentioned, and is poking fun at human nature. Good one!
Best Haiku About Michael Jackson
More than his music
Michael was the first Black man
To walk on the moon
Best Haiku About Sopaipillas
New Mexico meals
end when we lick the honey
off our fingertips.
Best Nursery Rhyme Haiku
Old Mother Hubbard
Living in the South Valley
Makes bomb burritos.
A dust cloud blows by
Crickets and wind chimes emerge
Beneath restless sky.
Very Issa! That's a good thing by the way! ;-)
Before his death I’d
Always assumed the aliens
Loaned him to us
[Editor’s note: Not 5-7-5, but too good not to include.]
It is very funny, but as we haiku poets know, 5-7-5 isn't necessary for haiku.
So quoting you back: "This being America, we like to take tradition, dip it in batter, fry it up and serve it on a stick." <grin>
Nursery rhymes are
Fun when you're young but as you
Age they get freaky
Too true, this is so on, Grimm by name Grim by nature. ;-)
gossip's sad appeal
is that other people's dirt
makes us feel cleaner
—Jeffrey D. Miller
Wow, how true.
Well done everyone!